Data, deriving from the Latin dare meaning to give, is used to refer to information. This definition is too wide for our purposes and so in this book, the word data will be taken to mean information required in the trade lifecycle and associated processes that originate from outside the trade itself. It may be helpful to think of the trade as the recipe and data as the ingredients - the success of the dish is very much dependent on the quality of its ingredients.
Note: data is technically a plural word but the singular, datum, is rarely used in the financial industry.
20.1 COMMON CHARACTERISTICS
The range and type of data required to process a trade can be vast. There are, however, a few factors which are common to most if not all data.
Identification: the data needs some unique identifier to distinguish it and show the user to what it refers.
Time of validity: the data provided is relevant for a given period of time. Data can be relevant for an instant and then be invalid seconds after it has been published or it could stay meaningful for many years.
Reference time: the data may refer to a given date or time or may be completely independent of time.
Value: the data has a value. This could be one item, a vector, a matrix or several dimensions of information. It could be textual, numeric or both.
Source: the data comes from a source. This could be a file, a person, an exchange or some publication.
A database is a mechanism for storing data. Some organisations ...